The Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope (VIRT) is a 0.5m telescope located at the easternmost and southernmost optical observatory in the United States on the island of St. Thomas, USVI. At an elevation of 420m, the site has good seeing, dark skies, and the ability to reach deep into the southern hemisphere, and plug into the northern hemisphere longitude gap between the US and Europe. Astronomers at the University of the Virgin Islands, and industry scientists from OrangeWave Innovative Science, LLC operate and maintain the Etelman Observatory, home of VIRT. VIRT is capable of manual, remote-controlled, or fully robotic modes that allow it to meet research, educational, and outreach missions. Its primary science goals include gamma-ray bursts, variable stars, exoplanet transients, and gravity-wave counterparts.
VIRT and the Etelman Observatory are funded by the University of the Virgin Islands, the National Science Foundation (Excellence in Rearch Program), and the National Aeronautics and Space Admistration (MUREP-MIRO and EPSCoR-Research-Infrastucture-Development Programs).
N. Brice Orange (Orangewave Inovative Science, LLC.), David C. Morris (University of the Virgin Islands), Jan Staff (University of the Virgin Islands), Priya Gokuldass (University of the Virgin Islands), Dario Carbone (University of the Virgin Islands), Teresa Ashcraft (University of the Virgin Islands)